mission-based organizations to help them use their collective buying power to purchase clean energy at a reduced rate.
Those faith, community and labor institutions then reinvest their savings into their community work.
By buying together to lock in lower rates, organizations can watch their monthly electricity bills drop and switch to clean energy.
This initiative supports organizations that are committed to serving their communities. Nonprofits that serve as the last line of defense for poor, disadvantaged people are often open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a result, they struggle with high utility bills, which cut into their programming or ministry budgets.
Since 2011, Groundswell has partnered with membership organizations of the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation and groups like Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light and CLAIM. Together, we organized 109 faith, community and labor
institutions in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, in three joint projects – producing a clean energy effort of $5 million. Participants saved up to 20 percent on their annual energy bills.
Ninety-four percent of all participants chose to invest in solar, wind-based clean energy and energy efficiency. This substantial investment supported the equivalent of more than 100 homes’ worth of solar installations in D.C. and created an efficiency fund to assist low-income families.
The New York Times profiled this initiative.
Join the Community Power Project
Building on our D.C. partnerships, Groundswell will continue organizing similar projects in the District, Baltimore and other Maryland communities. This project aims to create additional benefits for community participants, such as support for efficiency upgrades. As the size of the initiative swells, participants’ ability to help electricity companies serve their communities will also grow. Community groups and building owners who would like to learn more about upcoming projects may contact:
Sam Witherbee, Director of Commercial Programs